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Abbott's 'green' fraud: a gift to polluters--- and more from the latest GLW...

Green Left Weekly is Australia's largest circulating progressive newspaper and is the best place to get all the latest news and views on important issues and struggles here and around the world. Make sure you don't miss out - take out an esubscription now and get the index delivered straight to your inbox each week, or you can have the hard copy sent to your home. For details visit  GLW on line  or phone 1800 634 206. Support the independent media - subscribe or donate today! www.greenleft.org.au

In This Issue...

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Abbott's 'green' fraud: a gift to polluters
How to sum up the Liberal Party's "direct action" scheme to tackle global warming? Well, how about: a fraud wrapped in demagogy inside a delusion?

NT protest house: union solidarity with Aboriginal struggle
From February 1-14, in a remote part of the Northern Territory, a group of trade unionists and Aboriginal rights activists from Victoria, New South Wales and the NT joined forces with the Alyawarr people from Ampilatwatja community to help make history.

Afghanistan's secret jails
It was November 19, 2009, at 3:15am.

Haiti's misery: good news for big business
There has been much ink spilled in the corporate press about the number of dollars and soldiers being committed to Haiti by "the international community", but as a January 20 US ABC News headline bluntly put it: "In rebuilding Haiti, opportunity knocks and companies profit."

A brilliant showcase of solidarity
In October, when Ampilatwatja walk-off spokesperson Richard Downs toured the eastern states with Yuendumu elder Uncle Harry Nelson, they explained how their protest camp would demonstrate that Aboriginal people running their own affairs could build the type of sustainable community that the Northern Territory intervention, like past assimilationist and paternalistic policies, had failed to deliver.

Major parties' empty climate rhetoric
A Nielsen poll published in the February 8 Sydney Morning Herald showed a sharp drop of support for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's key climate change policy, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

US report targets Venezuela
US National Director of Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair presented the "annual threat assessment" before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 2

Green Left Weekly fighting fund: Spend money on people's needs not war
United States President — and Nobel Peace Laureate — Barack Obama will spend nearly US$1 trillion on war this year.

United States: Obama forgets Black community
What I found most striking about President Barack Obama's first "State of the Union" address before Congress on January 27 was what he didn't say.

Change needed in Tasmania
The spectre of the locally powerful woodchipping corporation Gunns and its relationship with the government hangs over the impending state election like a murky cloud. This is despite construction of Gunns' proposed pulp mill remaining stalled, due to public pressure and its inability to raise finance.

Refugees under stress at Christmas Island, Merak boat
The stress on Afghan and Tamil refugees waiting for their asylum claims to be processed in the Christmas Island Detention Centre is taking its toll.

New migration policy for bosses, not people
The federal government has announced a major overhaul of the permanent residency skilled migration program and scrapped the current eligibility list of more than 100 occupations.

The Venezuelan people: masters of revolution
Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela Directed by Pablo Navarrete

Socialist councillor: stop attacks on public sector
Socialist councillor Sam Wainwright has called on Fremantle residents to support a March 11 rally against the state government's attacks on the public sector.

Firefighters warn of climate risk
February 7, 2009, Black Saturday: you're glued to your TV watching an inferno devour Victoria's bushland, terrified that in a country like Australia, such a fire could have happened anywhere.

Obama visit sparks protest organising
Anti-war and democratic rights activists are organising protests for US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit

United States: Super Bowl ad hypocrisy
In our 5000-channel, Tweeting, shouting culture of constant distraction, there are precious few annual events that unite the US national gaze. In fact, there is really only one: the Super Bowl.

Shock expose: socialists oppose climate change
Andrew Bolt of Melbourne's Herald Sun published a mind-blowing scoop on his blog on February 6: there are socialists in the movement against climate change.

Australia breaches Burma arms embargo
The statement published below was released by Burma Campaign Australia on February 9.

Burma: Regional left support for workers' struggles
The statement published below has been signed by the Working People's Association (Indonesia); Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance; the Singapore Democratic Party; the Socialist Party of Malaysia; Socialist Alternative (Australia); Socialist Alliance (Australia); and Socialist Worker New Zealand. If your organisation wants to sign this joint statement, email international@prp-indonesia.org.

Chile: Voters disillusioned as right takes power
After holding power in Chile since the end of Pinochet's military dictatorship in 1988, the social democratic coalition Concertacion lost power to the right wing Alianza coalition in the December and January elections.

Gaza one year on: look into my eyes
On the January 18, 2009, Israel pulled its troops out of the Gaza Strip leaving many Palestinians with tremendous losses. Israel's war on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead had begun on December 27. The vicious attack killed 1417 people, wounding 5303 and leaving many thousands homeless, widowed and orphaned. To add pain to misery, many women who were pregnant at the time gave birth to defected children due to inhaling white phosphorous. One year after the attack, after its was confirmed by the United Nations Goldstone report, the Israeli government finally admitted that white phosphorous was used during its war on Gaza.

Iran: More US nuclear scaremongering
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton engaged in some fearmongering on Iran on the February 7 edition of CNN's State of the Union.

Pakistani students organise for democracy
During the 1960s, radical student movements broke out in countries across the world. Unlike in Europe, North America or Australia, Pakistan's student movement proved strong enough to overthrow a government.

Unemployment falls, underemployment grows
New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics said unemployment had fallen in January by 22,300 to 612,000 — a drop of 0.2% to 5.3%. The ABS, which released its unemployment figures on February 11, estimated that 52,700 jobs were created in January.

Belgium: Brewery workers take on bosses
For two weeks in January, Belgian brewery workers blocked roads, set fire to beer crates, kidnapped managers and handed out free beer in protest against job cuts proposed by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer.

Copenhagen: was China the problem?
The December 7-18 United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen was supposed to "seal a global deal" to tackle climate change. It failed miserably.

Forum defends abortion rights
Forty-five people attended a Womens Action Abortion Coalition (WAAC) forum on February 6. They discussed the need to reanimate the campaign for women's right to control their own fertility, in the wake of the charging of a Cairns couple in April 2009 for using the abortifacient, RU486.

Macklin's cynical Aboriginal policy
Minister for Aboriginal affairs Jenny Macklin will move in March to restore the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in the Northern Territory. But the move has been described by Aboriginal advocates as a cynical ploy.

Oppose Barnett's stop and search powers
Western Australia Liberal premier Colin Barnett wants to introduce draconian legislation which will give police more power. A wide spectrum of critics agree the proposed new powers are unprecedented in most of the Western world, would be grossly intrusive and would disproportionately penalise the most marginalised groups.

Sri Lankan regime targets opponents
Further evidence of the authoritarianism of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's regime came with the February 8 arrest of former general Sarath Fonseka, who had stood against Rajapaksa in the January 26 presidential elections.

TAFE teachers fight for quality education
More than 2500 TAFE teachers filled Sydney Town Hall on February 11 during a 24-hour strike. The action was in response to New South Wales government attacks on TAFE teachers and the delivery of quality education.

The art of injustice
In a hot, leaky, corrugated tin shed behind Redfern's disused railway yards lie the embers of a smouldering story of injustice. As an Aboriginal artist, 69 year-old Gordon Syron knows about injustice. He's seen systemic apartheid, legal bias and abuse of Aboriginal people all his life.

Unions want wage rise for low-paid
When minimum wage negotiations begin in March, the Australian Council of Trade Unions will push for a rise of $30-$40 a week. The current minimum wage is $543.78 a week, or $14.31 an hour.

United States: Band protests military use of song
US rock group the White Stripes has protested at what it says is the unauthorised use of an instrumental version of its song "Fell in Love With a Girl" in a recruiting ad for the US military, the New York Times said on February 9.

United States: Is the right on the rise?
In a rambling 40-minute speech crafted to appeal to every Fox News devotee in the room, former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin told the February 6 National Tea Party convention held in Nashville, Tennessee that the US was "ready for another revolution".

Venezuela: Mass march celebrates revolution
Dwarfing recent opposition protests, more than 100,000 supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez marched in Caracas on February 4 in defence of the government and to celebrate 18 years since Chavez led a failed civilian-military uprising against a corrupt government in 1992.

Winners and losers in transport pork barrel
On February 1, NSW premier Kristina Keneally announced changes to public transport fares and ticketing at a Parramatta railway station press conference.
Xstrata locks out coalminers
More than 200 coal miners in Tahmoor, southwest of Sydney, were locked out with no pay, on February

Anti-intervention book launched
On February 9, around 70 people attended the book launch of Will They be Heard.

'Stop the intervention' protests

Union demands workers' safety
The Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union has criticised the federal government's cavalier disregard for workplace safety in the operation of its home insulation scheme, calling for it to be tightly regulated. It also hit out at the Coalition for "posturing", saying it did nothing for workers' safety when it was in power.

WA government undermines eco-festival
PERTH — The Sun Fair, an annual sustainability festival and information exchange, has been hit with a huge budget blow from the WA state government. The fair, which attracted 15,000 people last year and expects 17,000 on March 28, has been denied funding by the WA Office of Energy (OOE).

Write on: Letter to the editor

Young people under attack
"Governments making new laws all of the time Try to tell 'em that being young's not a crime" — Area 7

A polemic against lipstick feminism
One Dimensional Woman By Nina Power, Zero Books, 2009, 81 pp., $22.95

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